post

Cookie Law Info WordPress Plugin

Cookie Law Info plugin

It’s been a few weeks now since websites needed to comply with the EU ePrivacy Directive (or EU Cookie Law as it’s become known).

I’ve tried a number of solutions which I’ve covered in an earlier post.  For a non-technical person these were either too complicated to put in place, conflicted with other plugins or just had bugs I couldn’t live with.

I discovered a plugin called the Cookie Law Info plugin in the meantime though which I’ll tell you a little bit more about below.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) updated their advice on complying with the Cookie Law recently which eased the burden a little.

“To explain further it might be useful to unpack what we actually mean by the term “implied consent” remembering throughout that consent (whether it is implied or express) has to be a freely given, specific and informed indication of the individual’s wishes. For implied consent to work there has to be some action taken by the consenting individual from which their consent can be inferred. This might for example be visiting a website, moving from one page to another or clicking on a particular button. The key point, however, is that when taking this action the individual has to have a reasonable understanding that by doing so they are agreeing to cookies being set.”

Cookie Law Info WordPress Plugin

Whilst I’m not a legal expert, the Cookie Law Info plugin by Richard Dashby seems to be perfect for me based on my decision to use ‘implied consent’.

The plugin adds a subtle banner to your website so that you can show your compliance status regarding the EU Cookie Law.

It has the following features:

  • Fully customisable to look just like your own website’s style: customise the colours, styles and fonts
  • Put the cookie bar in either the header or the footer
  • (Optional) cookie bar can be permanently dismissed or accessible through a “show again” tab
  • (Optional) “show again” tab is fully customisable including position shown on page and styles
  • “Cookie Audit” shortcode to construct a nicely styled ‘Privacy & Cookie Policy’

You can find some more information on the WordPress Plugin Directory for the Cookie Law Info plugin.  You can also see it set up on my website.

I have yet to complete the cookie audit and add this information to my cookie policy.  That is next on my list of things to do.  I understand that this is more than likely a requirement under the EU Cookie law (but a number of things are still ambiguous at the moment).  If you need any help with this, go to the Cookie Law Info website where there is a step by step tutorial provided.  Alternatively, please contact me and I will be more than happy to help.

Please bear in mind that whilst I have added this plugin to my website it might not necessarily be the correct one for you.  If you are looking for specialist legal advice relating to your website you should always consult a lawyer.

Have you decided how you are going to implement the EU Cookie Law on your website?  It applies to any website that may cater for European visitors, although I’m not sure how this would be policed outside of the EU.  If you are outside of the EU are you planning on making any changes to take the Cookie law into account on your website?

I really appreciate any comments you may have on the Cookie Law Info plugin and please share my post as you never know who might find it useful!

Image courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net

Share this:

Tim Bonner

Tim Bonner is a Stay At Home Dad, Blogger and Internet Marketer. Learn more about him here.

Like What You've Read?
Don't leave without subscribing to my blog.

Comments

  1. says

    This is the first I have heard of this Tim so thanks for the heads up. I guess I’ll just Google this to read more about it. Dang, just one more thing we all have to worry about now right!

    Thanks for sharing this and the only thing that I don’t like about this is although you give that person an option to “opt-out” there is no place to actually do that. Only accept so where is the opting out feature? Just curious but I definitely won’t. :-)

    ~Adrienne
    Adrienne recently posted…The Hidden Dangers Of Social MediaMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Adrienne

      I’m really not sure how the Cookie Law can be policed outside the EU to be honest. Seemingly the ruling does apply everywhere in the world though it’s unclear whether it just applies to non-EU websites that cater for the European market. I’m not sure how this affects many non-EU websites, although I would say that was pretty much any website out there in cyberspace! I’m going to change the wording slightly on my post now I’ve re-read the ICO guidance.

      I wasn’t aware of it for such a long time either. I’ve seen websites in the UK gradually introducing different solutions. I’m still not sure I’m completely settled on the one I chose as the solution though.

      Some websites have chosen to go down the explicit route where you as the visitor have to agree to cookies being set but this brings in all sorts of complications. I chose the implied consent route which allows cookies to be set and assumes as you are on the website that you agree to the cookies. I believe it’s a requirement to make it clear though what your cookie policy is and not hide it away. Not that we were but now it has to be obvious.

      I hear what you are saying about the option to opt out. Because I chose the implied consent route on the plugin you only get the option to accept or if not you can read more which takes you to the cookie policy page. This details where you can find out more information about not allowing cookies on your browser. I could do with trying to make that clearer I think from what you are saying. There’s also an explicit option on the plugin so I will take a look at that and see what options that gives.

      Thanks for some really useful feedback Adrienne. I always appreciate your comments.

      Tim

  2. Simmeon says

    Tim,

    I don’t even know how they can police this.

    I’m certain the can not..

    I heard all the noise about this a while back, but not given it any thought.

    Think it’s real SILLY

    • says

      Hey Simmeon

      I couldn’t agree more. It seems to be one of those silly EU laws that no-one really wants. I feel less European every day!

      At least the UK changed their policy at the last minute to allow ‘implied consent’.

      I know I personally feel I have to do something about it though as there are fines of up to £500,000 if you don’t implement it or at this stage be seen to start the process.

      From reading various commentaries on it, initially the ICO are likely to go after any websites where the ICO have received complaints about the use of cookies and there has been no attempt to comply. But there are no guarantees.

      I was going to do a wait and see thing. I see so many large UK companies implementing it now though I thought to myself they must have taken substantial legal advice on this and that’s the reason why all of them are now putting their houses in order.

      Thank you for your comments as ever Simmeon.

      Tim

  3. says

    Hi Tim,

    This ‘Cookies Law’ just does my head in. Simmeon has said it well and very politely I must say, compared to the words I used reading up about it.

    The more I read, the more confused I got. I mean, why? Everyone who uses the W.W.W. must know their information will be taken down and the very people who make these policies, will most likely be the ones who’ll use that information to get to you.

    I updated my privacy policy, but have not installed a plugin. Do you have to do both? Cookies can be easily block from the browser settings, instead, every site one visits, they’re to give consent? There’s someone who just has nothing better to do with their time but find ways to simple annoy the hell out of folk.

    Thanks Tim
    Julie
    Julie recently posted…Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award!My Profile

    • says

      Hi Julie

      Thank you for visiting my blog.

      I know exactly what you mean about the Cookie Law.

      It’s still early days on this and I agree it’s definitely quite confusing. You don’t have to have a plugin though, no.

      The ICO have provided some guidance on what would be acceptable in their cookies guidance (pdf) document.

      On page 15, there is a section called Practical advice for those wishing to comply which is quite useful. It gives you examples of what might be acceptable.

      So instead of just having your link to your Privacy Policy for example, you could call it Privacy and Cookie Policy or have a completely separate page about Cookies.

      From a UK point of view, the main thing I’m getting from all of this though is that anyone using your website must have clear information about cookies for it to comply. This must also be more prominently displayed on your website so it can be easily found and it must be easy to understand.

      I had and still have some information about cookies in my Privacy Policy but does anyone actually look at that? That’s why I added the Cookie Law Info plugin and this also adds a Cookie Policy page to your website. People probably still won’t look at though it anyway!

      I see that you have a Disclosure and Privacy Policy on your website and it does give advice about cookies so that might well be sufficient. You could maybe rename it Privacy and Cookie Policy to highlight that it details information about cookies. I can’t say for sure though either and you may want to seek specialist advice from a lawyer. Who has the time or funds to do this though on a blog or website that you run as a small business?

      As much as I’d like to see this law go away, I don’t think it will unfortunately. I hope though that things will become clearer over the coming months as to what is expected from us.

      In the longer term, I hope that eventually all of this can be taken care of by browser settings.

      Many thanks for your comments Julie and if I can be of any further assistance, please let me know.

      Tim

  4. Jeevan Jacob John says

    Are they doing it for the whole world (I mean, almost every website uses cookies). I mean, this needs to be enforced first in EU, right?

    And like Simmeon asked, how are they going to enforce this (I don’t think they will be able to).

    Anyways, this seems like a great plugin to have. Thank you for the details, Tim ;)

    • says

      Hi Jeevan

      I’ve seen conflicting advice on websites outside of the European Union (EU) and whether they need to comply with the EU Cookie Law if they have a European audience.

      The law is designed to protect the privacy of individuals within the EU. So, I’m pretty sure in theory that any website which serves EU citizens would have to comply. That would be regardless of who owns the website or whether the site is hosted outside of the EU. Hopefully this will become clearer in the coming months as to what is expected.

      You are right though. As enforcement of the EU Cookie Law is on a country by country basis, any company that has no legal EU presence is going to be hard to pursue a case against.

      Thank you for your comments Jeevan. I hope you’re having a good weekend.

      Tim

  5. says

    This is the first that I’ve heard of this and I certainly hope that as a blogger in the U.S. that I won’t have to do anything about this. Here’s hoping it doesn’t catch on in the rest of the world!

    • says

      Hi Rebecca

      Thank you for visiting my blog.

      I think in theory if websites in the U.S. or anywhere in the world have visitors from the European Union (EU) this could apply.

      How this would apply in practice though is anyone’s guess! Each EU country has added this into their own laws and it is policed on a country by country basis.

      I suspect it may be only non-EU websites that are specifically designed for or target the EU market that will be expected to observe the law though.

      I completely agree though Rebecca; it’s another instance of EU bureaucracy gone mad!

      Thank you for your comments and here’s to a prosperous week ahead.

      Tim

  6. says

    Hi Tim, good write up on the cookie law, and glad you find my plugin useful.

    I quite agree with your comments on the law being over the top. There’s a good selection of free plugins out there now so hopefully there is something for everyone without business owners having to incur unnecessary expense.

    What’s interesting to me is the response from the leading commercial websites and that of the UK government itself. Many aren’t doing anything at all, and those that are they generally have implied consent plus a table of cookie information. For some sites it’s visible with a banner, for others buried in the small print. Clearly some of those approaches are ‘non compliant’.

    However the ICO has said it’s unlikely they would fine anyone for non-compliance – first you’d get a letter. I think most people can handle that risk. But to enter into the spirit of the law (the EU ePrivacy Directive) then a simple solution like cookie law info is probably sufficient.

    All the best,
    Richard

    • says

      Hi Richard

      I searched high and low for a plugin I was comfortable with on my website in terms of cookie law.

      Thanks so much for creating Cookie Law Info as it was exactly what I wanted.

      I found many of the other plugins and options available either too complicated to put in place on my blog or they didn’t work with other plugins I have already installed.

      I know a lot of people have just decided to wait and see what happens without implementing anything on their website but I don’t think this is a good strategy! At least I am trying to be compliant.

      I still need to do the cookie audit and add a table to my cookie policy with the results. Other than that I am really happy with what Cookie Law Info has allowed me to do.

      Thanks again for a great plugin.

      I hope you’re having a great weekend Richard.

      Cheers

      Tim

  7. says

    Hi Tim,

    Spot on post mate and so far the best one I’ve seen on this new policy from the EU… where will they stop…

    I’ve seen a few posts about this, saying about different plugins but as I’ve been off line so much I’ve been saving the post URL’s for when i could get to them. Today was that day Tim and following your example I’m now compliant with the EU ;)

    Thanks for making it so easy Tim,

    Barry
    Barry Wells recently posted…Marketing Mini Classes: All Is RevealedMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Barry

      Thank you! I hate the EU policy but we kind of have to live with it I guess.

      I still haven’t done the cookie audit yet. It’s on my list of things to do but I haven’t got around to it yet.

      The Cookie Law Info WordPress plugin is one of the better plugins out there I think.

      Great that you’re now compliant Barry :-). I still see so many websites out there that aren’t.

      I’m not sure that a lot of people still know about the Cookie Law.

      Have a great and relaxing weekend Barry.

      Tim

  8. says

    Well hello Tim and thanks to Barry for pointing me in the direction of this post.

    I have been using a plugin called, ‘Cookie control’ however for my theme, Flexx, I found this plugin to be untidy, you could actually see the code as the page loaded.

    Since switching to Cookie Law info a whole 5 minutes a go, :) the page loads a lot cleaner, I will have to look into disabling the tab at the bottom of the page once they have given implied consent as I thinks its unnecessary once they have given their permission.

    This and many of the laws that the EU force upon us are just signs that they do not understand what they are legislating for and listen only to those pressure groups with either the most money or the biggest purported following but with out of proportion fines to contend with we have no choice but to comply.
    igor Griffiths recently posted…There is No Above!My Profile

    • says

      Hi igor.

      Great to see you and thank you also to Barry for pointing you in my direction :-).

      There is an option in the plugin set up to stop the tab at the bottom of the page.

      If you go into the setting section and change the Use Show Again Tab to No then it won’t show the tab.

      I’m pleased that the Cookie Law Info plugin has helped your pages load a lot cleaner. I tried out the Cookie Control plugin but it either didn’t show at all with using a caching plugin or, like on your site, it shows the code as the page loaded.

      I hate the EU Cookie Law but I guess it’s here to stay and we have to live with it.

      Thanks for your comments and have a great weekend!

      Tim

  9. says

    Hi Tim,

    Thanks for the heads up on this.

    I wasn’t aware that this new directive had come in so it was a bit of a shock to hear about this.

    I’ll certainly be checking out this plugin but one thing I’d like to know is what other messages need to be displayed if your website is being viewed further afield, such as the US?

    Regards,
    Dean.
    Dean Thompson recently posted…Alternatives to Google ReaderMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Dean

      No problem. Glad I could be of help.

      As far as I am aware from the research I’ve done, the directive doesn’t affect anyone from outside of the EU. So you only need to get implied consent from people in the EU.

      The only other message that I’m aware of is from the FTC in the US where you have to disclaim that you are an affiliate.

      I have an earnings disclosure on my Terms page and I also tell people I’ll get a commission on the page where I’m reviewing or recommending a product.

      Is that what you mean?

      Cheers

      Tim

  10. Ste Murphy says

    Thanks Tim
    This is the first I’ve heard of it so thanks for the info, i definitely understand the frustration of people but i suppose it’s always better to comply than to have something like a hefty fine ruin your business no matter how silly it all is.
    Great stuff Tim and thanks again :)

    Ste

    • says

      Hi Ste

      Welcome to my blog and thank you for your comments.

      I definitely think some of the legislation that comes out of the EU is nonsense and this being one of the things!

      Still, it is better to be compliant. I think the ICO would give a site a warning first before taking any action. Or at least I hope they would before slapping someone with a huge fine.

      I still need to do a cookie audit and put all of that info on my cookie policy. It’s on a huge list of things to do!

      Great to see you Ste and hope you’ll pop by again sometime soon.

      Tim

    • says

      Hi Sue

      If the ICO are using implied consent on their website, I can only assume it’s okay for us to!

      I’m glad to have helped a few people find the Cookie Law Info plugin. I hope you like it if you take a look.

      Let me know Sue.

      Have a great weekend.

      Tim

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge

Sign up to receive free email updates!